An observer’s lifestyle


DURGA NAGARAJAN shares a first-hand example of how the power of observation can change a life.

Sitting on my couch, without anything much to do, I realized that my mind was overpowered with a lot of thoughts, some worthy of consideration and some not.

Life had been very strenuous during the last couple of months owing to a multitude of factors. The funny part was that I was never able to pinpoint exactly what was causing the tension, strain, restlessness, and a mixture of unpleasant notions that hovered over me day in and day out. In fact, I reached a point where even my sleep was affected. That is when I decided to take a step back and analyze what was really causing the issue.

I figured out that the issue was in the way in which I led my life. If I was in a meeting with a client who just didn’t budge from his stance, for example, his reaction and mannerisms during our conversation would get the better of me. Now the question arises, how is that possible? Well, it is simple; I took in and absorbed not only his words but also his attitude and body language. These had a greater impact on my response to him than the actual matter at hand.

How then could I change this? In my small understanding, I needed to become an ‘observer of life’ and not an ‘absorber’ of my surroundings.

How could I embark on this journey of leading an observer’s lifestyle? Here are some ‘to dos’ I have been trying :

  • Understand that life is a journey to be undertaken and not a race to be won.
  • Cultivate absolute unaffectedness to situations, what is called stithpragya in the Bhagavad Gita. Respond to situations with a clear and unbiased attitude for the good of all, making it a win-win situation every time.
  • Cultivate absolute humility within myself so that anything that seems to be aimed at me does not affect me personally, but is taken as a learning experience.
  • Stay connected at all times to that inner guidance within – my heart. This will hopefully lead me to an integration of all my actions and thoughts, and allow me to follow my intuition.
  • Listen with the intention of understanding my peers. Many a time, I listen only to respond, and that one attitude severs relationships and business prospects.


In my life of constant thoughts and unrest of the mind, these few attitudinal changes have brought about an all-encompassing change of attitude.

For more clarity, I also observe nature. Imagine how peaceful and serene the world would be if we all just existed, observing everything around akin to nature


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